Ontario Continues to Have the Second-Worst RN to Population Ratio in Canada:

New CIHI report also shows RNs being replaced by RPNs

TORONTO, June 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, is expressing alarm about the findings of a new Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report showing that Ontario continues to have the second-worst registered nurse (RN) to population ratio in the country.

"In Ontario, we have just 714 RNs per 100,000 people," she said. "Just to catch up to the average RN-to-population ratio in the rest of the country requires the province to hire 16,658 more RNs. Newfoundland and Labrador has nearly 400 more RNs per 100,000 population than Ontario."

CIHI's "Regulated Nurses, 2014" report shows that Canada has lost a total of 2,360 regulated nurses.  Six provinces, including Ontario, showed a decline in the supply of nurses and that the province's supply of RPNs grew by 52.3 per cent between 2005 and 2014, while its supply of RNs grew just 9.2. This adds evidence to ONA's contention that the province is "de-skilling" our health-care system, replacing RNs with RPNs to save money.

Finally, the report also shows that Canada is failing to educate an adequate number of regulated nurses to replace those leaving the system.

"Ontario nurses have warned for a decade that we must ensure that Canada educates a new generation of registered nurses to meet the health-care needs of our growing population," said Haslam-Stroud. "It is more than alarming to see that our supply of registered nurses has dropped a full one per cent, and that CIHI is warning that more regulated nurses are leaving the profession than are entering it. This spells disaster for our patients, who deserve the quality patient care that RNs bring to the bedside."

ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line RNs, RPNs and allied health professionals and more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; Cell: 416-986-8240; shereeb@ona.org; Ruth Featherstone, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267; ruthf@ona.org


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